Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I Got My Ads Back

Remember the Google ads I was so impressed with? The ones that read my blog and advertised relevant stuff? They're back! I signed up for Google's adsense program. Technically this is supposed to make me money but since only about 5 people frequent this site I don't anticipate much revenue. I'm just happy to have my old friends back.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Motivation Killer

I have to write a bio on my prof for my copyediting course at Ryerson. It's only 200 words so it should be pretty easy. However, as all Jen experts know, I am the star of P3 (Procrastinator: Rise of the Slackers). I planned to do the bio yesterday but then I got distracted by more interesting things (laundry, my toenails, etc). Today I finally motivated myself to get out my notes. Picture this: I'm all geared up to do the bio; I have an empty word doc open and everything. I reach into my bag, pull out my notebook and at that moment (literally) the phone rings. It's my prof. Class is cancelled and the bio isn't due until the following week! Talk about a motivation killer!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Eventful weekend

This weekend was so eventful I have to use point form!


Went to see the wolves at Haliburton Forest.
Some facts I learned:
  • the wolf in charge of all the males is the alpha male
  • the wolf in charge of all the females is the alpha female
  • the lowest ranking wolf in the pack is the omega wolf
  • ravens often hang out with wolf packs, eat with them, even attempt to trick them away from their food.
  • sometimes ravens alert wolves to a kill by flying ahead and making noise when they see a lame deer or something.

Photo of the alpha male:


Mom's 50th surprise party. She never suspected a thing. (annoyed that I wouldn't get my passport photo). Rob made posters with pics of and quotes about Mom.

Lots of eating and dancing. A good time was had by all.


Word on the Street. Less and less free stuff every year. Won a stack of art magasines (2-dollar spin-the-wheel game). Art mags=happiness.

So I used full sentences. Sue me! This is still less in depth then I usually get on my blog.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Pillow? Headphones? Chicken or Fish?

I am on my way to Flight Attendantdom! I had an interview today at an airline and it went fabulously. They are hiring 70 out of 700 people which sounds icky but one in ten is actually pretty good. If that was the lottery I'd be a zillionaire.

Weirdness: flight attendants get paid "per flight hour." That means they start getting paid when the doors shut and the plane starts taxiing. They do not get paid to help you with your luggage before the plane takes off, or to wish you a pleasant day after the plane lands. That part they do out of the goodness of their hearts.

Thank you for flying with us and have a pleasant vacation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Mooseriffic Holiday!

Adam and I are back from our 4-day camping trip to Algonquin Park. The highlight of our trip was seeing a young moose:

He was just wandering around eating lake grass near our campsite. For those of you who have never experienced a moose sighting I will tell you that moose (mooses, meese) are the most hillarious creatures ever because unlike deer and squirrels and bunnies and chipmunks and birds and bears and every other wild animal in the universe, moose could care less about people. The moose was easy to spot because there was already a crowd gathered around it. We saw him first at 2ish and he was still hanging around the campground at 6! Our moose could be seen from the road and at least ten cars pulled over to take his picture (okay so maybe HUMANS are the most hillarious creatures ever, but moose are right up there). To give an idea of how close a person can get to a moose without even a snort of protest I have this picture Adam took of me and our moose:

You should know that the reason I am not closer to the moose in this picture is a) there was a bush in the way and b) I didn't want to get my shoes wet and mucky NOT c) he might have run away. The moose knew I was there (he kept looking at me) but was totally uninterested in anything but his dinner.

Speaking of dinner, we also saw a snake eating a frog. YUM!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ryerson Skateboarders

Yesterday was my first class at Ryerson. I had some time before class to watch the eye-candy-lishes boys sweat and skateboard in the ice-free-because-it's-summer rink outside. They were basically trying two tricks over and over again. One was (I looked these up) a kickflip or a heelflip. The other was a noseslide (I think) which they did on the curb. They tried these over and over. 9 times out of 10 (and I'm being generous here) they failed to get the trick right. Sometimes, they fell on their tushies. I found this strangely mesmorising.

Yoda should watch these guys. There is no try my butt!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I just found out something interesting. Well, interesting to me because I've always been fascinated by androids. Star Trek (and the dictionary) tells us that an android is a machine or automaton in the form of a human being. However, the word android literally mean resembling (oid) a man (andr). Therefore, there can be no such thing as a female android. A female android would be called a gynoid.

Examples of Gynoids (off the top of my head):

Lal (Data's daughter)
Fembots (Austin Powers)
TX (Terminator 3)
The robot from Metropolis
Various female mecca in AI
Various female androids (I mean gynoids) in TOS
V.I.K.I. (I, robot)
A librarian in the Simpsons episode set in the future.

If I think of anymore I'll add them to the list.
BTW: The gmail offer is still open. Comment on the previous message.

Gmail Invite Give Away!

Yes, I am part of the elite group of people who have gmail accounts. Jealous? No need. I have 2 gmail invites that I am giving away right now! This is a limited time offer. The first 2 people to comment (and leave their e-mail addie1) will be on the way to nerd elitism.

Before you take advantage of this offer, here are some pros and cons to consider:


*You can search your messages. I've found this useful only once, but that's mostly because I haven't had the account long enough to accumulate lots of messages.

*You get 1000 megabytes of storage. This is the big seller for google. It's more than anyone really needs.

*Your messages are grouped with all their replies as a conversation. This is pretty neat. It's actually my favourite part. Also replying to messages is almost like a chat msn style (only it's e-mail).

*You can "star" messages that you want to be able to find easily. Another reason I never really used the search feature.

*It's by invite only so you get to feel special.

Cons (sorry google I love you for hosting this blog):

*While you can receive messages with cool html colors and pics in them, you cannot create them. This sucks. I rarely make my messages pretty anyway, but sometimes I feel the need.

* You can't really add someone to your address book unless you e-mail them or transfer their address from your old address book. This is kind of annoying but really, why would you want someone in your address book that you didn't want to e-mail?

*I think there was something else but it can't be that important because I forgot.

So there you have it comment now and be part of the wonderful world of nerdy net elitism!

1. Yes, I realise you may have reservations about posting your e-mail on the blog. TOO BAD SO SAD. Your new addie will be gmail anyway so why do you care really?

Monday, September 13, 2004

Nice Weekend

I had a nice weekend. Here is the blow-by-blow:


My parents left to stay at a friend's cottage and go to the wedding. Instead of having a wild party I used another television parents-aren't-home cliché and stayed over at my beloved Adam's house.


My Adam had to go to work so I went out with my future sister-in-law Julie. We rode are bikes at Niagra-on-the-lake. That place is super pretty. When we got home Adam bought us a yummy pizza with lots of veggies and we all watched Lady Killers (***).


I went with my Mom and Dad to the Eden Mills Writer's Festival. It was a beautiful sunny day. My Mom read from A Different Kind of Beauty. I saw Nalo Hopkinson read and a bunch of other people too. I never really hear what the story is about because the words carry me off into dreamland. Peaceful.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Once in a lifetime photo op

I thought I'd post this picture I took of Adam while he was taking a picture of an unusual bird. Honestly this picture hasn't been doctored in any way. ;)

I'm a professional author!!!!

I wrote an article for the Burlington Art Centre about Victor Cicansky's Spring Pantry (a piece in the permanent collection) and am actually getting paid for it (none of your business how much, Mr. Nosy). The God of the Art Centre says "I like your article very much" and he wants to put it in the newsletter and put it on display as a handout or a label near the artwork. That's right Ladies and Gents, I'm a professional author.

The Other Me

Apparently there is another person out there named Jennifer McNicoll. She's a champion horse trainer form Minneapolis who's currently studying burrowing owls in Mexico. This site shows a picture of her holding a hawk:

Totally cool. She might even be worthy of the name. :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My Productivity Grinds to a Halt

I have a hundred and three kind-of-okay jobs that I'm going to apply for. I applied for three using the lazy girl's method (e-mail) then I came across one that you could only apply by dinosaur (fax). No problem, I say to myself, I'll just write up my cover letter and résumé and File Print to Fax. Easy. Peasy. Japanesey.

Alas! No printers are installed on my computer since Adam "fixed it". Okay so.... Start. Printers and Faxes. Set up faxing. Sell soul to Satan okay? Okay. Next. Next. What!? I need the Windows XP CD! Why would I possibly need that? I don't have that.

Okay so that's not going to work. So I call Adam. Adam I can't fax anything what do I do? Adam suggests printing whatever I need to fax then faxing it super-dinosaur way (by actually using the fax machine). So now I have to install the downstairs printer, which means I have to install the driver, which means I have to download the driver.

I find the driver pretty easily on the hp website (I just have to run all the way downstairs a check the front of the printer to see what its name is and then run upstairs and type that in). I download the thing all zipped. I unzip it (and see its undies ooooooh!).

Then this box pops up and gives me a bunch of options (nice to have choice) and the only option that could possibly apply to my is Install Printer and Drivers or some such. So I clickety click that. Okay. Okay. Perform sexual favours for horny programmers okay? Okay. Next. Next. Next. Then it asks me if I want to attach my printer using one of those tiny USB cables or one of those big honking ones. There is no option saying "the computer is downstairs dumbbum!" so I randomly pick the big honking cable.

The computer says it will wait for me to attach the printer. You'll be waiting a heckuva long time sweetie pie. Finally it says, "Nothings happening. Should I keep waiting?" or something. I click the no-never-mind-this-isn't-going-to-work button.

Okay so we'll try another thing. I go to Start. Printers and Faxes. Add a Printer. I find where the downstairs printer is on the network. Next. Then the computer starts to panic "I need a driver! Where is it? Where is it?" No worries. I tell the computer where I saved the driver that I downloaded from HP. The computer decides it didn't like the driver I downloaded and gets all cranky, freezes and shuts down.

When the thing has booted back up the printer appears to be installed. Okaaaaaaaaay. So I open up my document and File Print. After a while a dialogue box pops up saying "The printer isn't picking up the phone and it doesn't have an answering machine. Should I keep trying?" Argh. No. Never mind!

I think I might have installed a drunk driver or maybe a driver who failed the G1 exit. Anyway, I'll try to delete the printer and then reinstall it. Maybe that will work.

But probably not.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Karaoke Revolution!!!

I'm at Becca and Drew's house for their much anticipated Labour Day Barbecue Extravaganza! Becca and I have been playing Karaoke Revolution. I like this game a lot because it makes me feel like Arethra Franklin or Janis Joplin or Caroline Wiles or some other really good singer. The crowd goes wild! I glow because I'm so friggin' good! I wanted to get Adam to try but he doesn't want to feel like Arethra Franklin for some odd reason.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Should've Gone on the Wilderness Adventure Ride

So Adam got these passes to see the Air Show at Ontario Place and he got off work early and we drove to Toronto (Well, Adam drove; I sang the oldies). So we get to Toronto in record time (did I mention Adam drove) BUT there were a hundred thousand cars there in a free-for-all. Parking on grass, driving on jogging paths, that sort of thing. It took us an hour to park, no exaggeration. We went into Ontario Place and climbed all the steps to the top of that big white thing. We had missed most of the air show but we saw 3 or 4 planes go by. Then the announcers were all "Here come the Snowbirds!" and the Snowbirds flew in in that formation they are always doing in photos (you know the one). Then the lead pilot came on the radio and said "Too hazy. Unsafe. No show for you!" or something to that effect. So we climbed all the way down from the tower. BTW: I was testing to see if I'm still afraid of heights by looking down. I don't think I'm completely cured, but I think the death defying experience did help a little.

Anyway. We got to the bottom and I wanted to go one the Wilderness Adventure Ride because every time I come to Ontario Place I go on the Wilderness Adventure Ride. It's pretty much the only ride at Ontario Place and it's the same thing as that log ride they have at Canada's Wonderland: you drive down the river in a hollowed out log, pass by all kinds of cheesey animatronics, the go down a big drop and get splashed. Fun stuff. And the cheesiness factor is enhanced tenfold by the fact that the animatronic loggers have cobwebs attached to their bums.

Problem: Adam didn't want to get his camera wet. I suggested leaving it with the ride employee but (understandably) he didn't trust the ride employee as far as he could throw him (what does that even mean?). I suggested getting a locker but we had both used up all our change to park on a lawn a million miles away. I suggested getting a hold of a plastic bag but Adam thought that he could somehow get his camera wet anyway. I suggested going back to the car and leaving it in there. Adam said "that seems like a bit of a hassle just to go on one ride" and it did, but it also seemed like a bit of a hassle to drive all the way to Toronto and spend an hour looking for parking, just to watch three planes go by. We were both cranky because of the incredible sweltering heat, and the annoyingness of the traffic, parking, and woosy Snowbirds. So we went home.

The rest of the day was better. I hung out with Adam at his house and we watched some Star Trek, and played some Rummikub. Nice, lazy, non-outdoor activities.

When I got home that night my Mom was up (even though it was 12:30 am and WAY past her bedtime). She of course asked me how the air show was and if I went on the Wilderness Adventure Ride. Argh!! Now I'm going to have to make a special trip to Toronto just to ride that stupid ride.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Computer-free Day

At the moment I am at Adam's house using his computer to write my blog. My 'puter has been acting kinda slow lately which usually means it needs to be completely wiped off and then have only the important stuff loaded back on. Kind of like when the Enterprise computer was malfunctioning and Geordi had to shut it down and reboot. So Adam is doing that for me and today I have no computer. So I painted a painting of my nephew instead. I had planned to clean my room but FAT CHANCE!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Nothing has happened so far.

So far today nothing has happened. I've been on my computer. Went swimming at Omi's house. Watched a little Star Trek. Pretty slow day. I'm blogging even though I have nothing to say because then I figure I'll jinx myself (in a good way). You know in Young Frankenstein when Gene Wilder is complaining about having to dig up the grave and Igor says "Could be worse. Could be raining." at which point it immediately starts to rain? Life is ironic like that (good for comic effect). Well I figure as soon as I say that nothing is happening something super duper exciting is going to happen. Irony. It only makes sense right?

Something exciting will happen. Or it will rain.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The most terrifying experience of my life.

If you know me you know that I sometimes exaggerate to extremes. I'll say, for example, "there were a million billion people in line" if a line-up is only kind of long, or I'll say "I had to sit in the waiting room for a hundred years" even though the wait time was no more than an hour. Knowing this, you might think that when I say "the most terrifying experience of my life" I really mean "something I was kind of nervous about". I assure you that is not the case. This experience has no need for hyperbole. When I use the word "terrified" I mean the actual definition which is to be filled with terror, deeply afraid (terror being intense, over-powering fear).

I have always been squeamish around heights (note I said "squeamish" when normally I would say "for me heights is the most frightening thing in the history of time", but I promised no to use hyperbole). Normally when I'm near a high cliff or something, my knees shake a little bit (what a stupid way for my body to react to heights! duh!) .

The magasine my Mom edits for is doing a story on "Family Adventures" so for the last two days me, Mom, and my brother Craig, have been trying out different activities. We did some fun but very tame white water rafting in Barry's Bay near Algonquin Park then drove all the way to Collingwood to the Blue Mountain Lodge to do something called "Treetop Walking". I thought that if you can take your family on the trip it can't possibly be THAT scary. Wrong. Knowing how high a treetop is I should have run for the hills!

First they suit us up in these harnesses. Attached to the harness was a water bottle and, more importantly, a rope with two (what are those clippy things called again Adam?) carbeeners attached to them. I didn't have a lot of time to make friends with my carbeeners before my life depended on them. First, we walked across a nice wide suspension bridge (I say nice and wide because I've come to appreciate the wideness of most bridges) and the guides were chatting about the history of the area and how they made the suspension bridge (with a crossbow, cool!). Then we all (I think there were 11 of us all together plus 2 guides) piled into a tractor (it had a thing attached to it so it could fit 11 people) and were driven to the treetop place.

After learning to use our carbeeners we climbing a staircase two at a time (Craig was my partner) up. We had to attach our carbeeners to cables running above our heads (there are two carbeeners and two cables so if one breaks, supposedly you don't fall to your death). We had to walk along a thin plank (I say "thin" meaning "normal sized for a plank" which is far too thin for this activity). The plank was suspended from ropes which were tied to cables that we could and did use as hand railings. According to the website, we were 50 feet above the ground. I'm not sure of the exact conversion into meters but let me assure you, that is very high. The plank swayed back and forth when people were walking or when the wind blew (so always) and in between the ropes was plenty of room for a person, even one larger than me, to fall through. Being squeamish about heights, I was very scared. My knees were shaky in the extreme and I was close to tears most of the time. We walked the plank until we got to a tree. Then we had to let go of the railing (ah!) unclip our carbeeners (ah!) and reclip them to another set of cables on the other side of the tree. Then we walked the plank to over to another tree and did the same thing again. In total we walked sixteen planks (they were numbered so I know) and came to a platform large enough to comfortably fit thirteen people without terror. Now we had to get down. Another staircase? HELL NO! A zip glide. I watched a bunch of people go first (including Mom and Craig). They had to go down this short flight of steps which ended in mid air, then they had to ease themselves off the stairs while one of the guides (Graham) held them in place with a rope. When they were ready, the guide would yell RELEASING and the person would go zippity do dahing down to the ground from 50 feet in the air. On the ground the other guide(Jen) had this wheely staircase (the kind department stores use) so the person could climb up and their carbeeners could easily be unhooked. Some of you are probably thinking: COOL! which would make you exactly like the guys who were so cocky they swung upside down on the way down. I did not think this was cool. I was extremely squeamish just watching other people do this.

My turn. The guide attached my carbeeners to the rolly thing that was attached to the cable. I climbed down to the bottom step. Being on the steps was scary, but no scarier than walking the plank. The most terrifying experience of my life was actually letting go. I was whimpering so people could tell I was scared. This truck driver who came with his fearless forteen-year-old daughter was cheering me on. I don't know how long I was on the staircase but I felt like I was making everyone wait a long time (I would normally say a hundred years, but no hyperbole today). I couldn't let go. The truck driver told me to step one foot at a time so I stepped one foot off then quickly put that foot back on and stepped off with the other foot. Finally I somehow got both feet off and was gripping the railing of the staircase super tightly. Someone (the guide maybe?) told me to let go of the railing and I did, and put my feet back on the stairs. This went on for a while until I somehow managed to let go with both my feet and hands more-or-less at the same time. I held on to the rope that was attached to my carbeeners that was attached to the rolly thing that was attached to the cable. The guide was holding my rope with another rope. Now that I was in the scary place (I had let go of the thing I had been holding onto for dear life and was amazingly still alive) I just wanted to get down. The guide probably thought I needed time and was all like "Are you okay? Are you ready?" I yelled "Just GO!" and he let go and I went Zippity do dahing down to the ground. I couldn't really enjoy the ride because I was still in shock from the terrifying experience (in fact, I'm still a little shaken from it). By the time I was on the ground I was crying a little bit (not full out bawling because Mr. Spock taught me that it's not proper to show your emotions). Everyone was asking me "are you okay?" but I was on the ground so I was EXTREMELY OKAY. Then we got granola bars and went to look in some caves. I went through this really thin cave called "Fatman's misery" and the fearless forteen-year-old didn't. She was scared and I wasn't. HA!

I don't have any pictures of my terrifying experience yet because we brought a disposable (we were afraid the digi would fall to it's death). But here is a photo of crazy people who actually paid to do this fool thing (click on it to go to the website).

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